5.25.2014

Giro d'Italia 15: Aru Champion atop Monte Campione - and my analysis of the race

You are going to read volume about the young guy from Sardinia: cycling press like rhetoric. In plain words, today he demonstrated to be not only a good rider but a true champion
Not beacuse of his legs: because of his coolness and determination. He didn't attack for the stage: he went for the overall. No matter what he said, no matter what he thinks. Watching it was obvious. He wasn't attacking Philip Deignan but all the main favourites' group. 
He attacked 3 km to go, on the hardest of the climb to Monte Campione. That wasn't the last attack for stage - after Julian Arredondo, Philip Deignan and Pierre Rolland - but the first attack for the GC. Only now in fact the Pink Jersey Rigoberto Uran responded. And you must imagine: a young rider in cycling since few years, at his first Giro as a team leader FEELING Rigoberto Uran, the race leader on his wheel AND keeping cold his blood: that's a champion fabric.
Before there was a break-away:  Bouet, Ratto, Le Bon, Cardoso, Cunego, Hansen, Geschk, Paolini, Felline, Rodriguez, Barbin, Torres Agudelo. It was easy to say that Fabio Felline was there for Julian Arredondo. It tourned out that Barbin was there for Zardin. Adam Hansen was there for himself and was the first one to try to go solo when the final climb start. 
The road up had just started and Arredondo attacked. Too early. He had sounded critical yesterday and today had a free ride. It showed that the Team's strategy was right: Arredondo must work for Kiserlovski who yesterday kept his 10th place in GC and today was with the best ones in front, gaining a place in spite Arredondo had wasted his energy in that useless early attack and couldn't help him at all. 
Arredondo is a very good rider but still young, impulsive and with few experience: he must accept his role and learn. That's my opinion.
When the break-away was caught and Arredondo's try was also over the peloton slowed down a bit, big names preparing for the fight. Philip Deignan dashed out from the the front group easily and fast, gained some advantage, kept going on a steady pace looking fresh and good. That was a brilliant move by Team Sky that lost his GC rider, got affected by many crashes but is really doing the best of it. For a moment it was looking like an easy victory for the Irishman: the main favourites were looking each others, Uran didn't mean to spend energy to chase him and the others could wait till the last kms because the climb wasn't hard enough to make a difference. 
Then Pierre Rolland attacked. Got caught. He went to talk directly with Rigoberto Uran. Attacked again and they let him go. He joined Deignan, quickly followed by Colombian Duarte. That was for the stage, it looked done. 
But behind Fabio Aru re-opened the game. Unfortunately for the three in front, the bagarre exploded for the GC. Uran didn't push too much, went on by his pace again. Strongest than Evans and Pozzovivo, losing some time to Quintana and Majka. Honestly I don't think he sufferend: he just managed the race his way. The Giro is long: one week full of mountains. Uran is still in pink.
Wilko Kelderman lost a chance to gain some time to Majka for the White Jersey but finished in Evans' group that's not bad.

What Fabio Aru said:
“I am very happy and can hardly believe it yet. I must say thanks to the team, who stayed close to me all day. My team-mates were really exceptional. I’m really happy, but I’m not going to get ahead of myself. I’ve still got a lot to learn, and from tomorrow everything will be just as it was before.”


Trek Factory Racing Adriano Baffi: 
“Today was a day where we thought the breakaway could stay away to the finish again. Fabio had the green light to attack, and he did a fantastic job to be there. The only problem was that Damiano Cunego was in there, too, and ruined the breakaway’s chance. That’s really a shame for Fabio because he was looking forward to this opportunity. I believe he would have been able to fight for the stage victory. With Arredondo we still had another option for the win. I told him to wait, to stay with the GC leaders and try at the very end. Julian was too nervous, though, and wasted his chance. He is young and still learning: It was a lesson to be learned today.
At the end of the day we still come out with something as Robert moved up one place in the GC. Yes, we really want to have a stage victory, but to finish in the top 10 with Robert is also a main goal. So today we are satisfied with our race, and we have one more week to still try for a win.”
What Julian Arredondo said:
"I wanted the stage win too much. Fabio was out front and I wanted to take advantage of his help and I think I went too early. I should have stayed calm, been more patient, and attacked at the end so I would have more chance.”

What Fabio Felline said:
“The last three days were bad for me and today I felt so much better. When Arredondo came up to me [on the climb] I gave it everything. It was important to try and help Arredondo, and I was glad that I could do what I could. It was special to race close to my home and that gave me extra motivation today with all the people supporting me. I am sorry that our team tactic did not work, but it was still a positive day for me, and in the end for the team. It was a good day.”

Team Sky DS Dario Cioni:
“Philip did a really good job today. It was great to see him up there with the lead contenders and his form is getting better the further he goes into the race. We’re still committed to taking a stage win and we’ll take the race day by day after the rest day tomorrow.”

What Rigoberto Uran said:
"Every race is different, your legs are your legs and you can't really spare anything in such stages. You need to have a regular pace, but you cannot spare yourself. But today, I was happier than yesterday. Sunday is not a working day for everyone else. Well today I had to work but it was a pleasure to do it in this pink jersey at the Giro d'Italia. Also, it's fun to go to work when I have this great team around me. Just look at the work of a guy like Gianluca Brambilla today. It makes me happy to defend the Maglia Rosa for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, knowing I have this kind of support. I'm also full of pride because I am representing Colombia every day as the race leader. Cycling is a sport that grew a lot there in the last years. We have a great generation of riders and we have riders able to do well in all the disciplines. It means a lot for our country. All of the people watch us on the television. It's great and I love that I can represent an entire nation. As for Aru, he showed how strong he was last year. He's a strong climber and he has a bright future ahead of him. He deserved the win today, he is a good rider. Now we look forward to the rest day. There is still one week and every day will be important. We will see how it goes." 


What Cadel Evans said:
"It is the second day I have lost time, which was not what I was hoping for. I will try to have a good rest day and make up the difference. Today was not my best day. I think Uran raced really well. I could have raced a little bit better, but there's not much I can do about that now. There are still a lot of days to come. We have had two weeks of racing and the first riders in the GC (general classification) are divided only by a few minutes. I don't think anyone expected a Giro this close."


Tinkoff DS Lars Michaelsen:
“The boys did a solid job and put Rafa in a favorable position at the foot of the climb. From there, Michael (Rogers) delivered a perfect job taking the reigns of the pack while Rafa was protected. As the bombardment of attacks started, it was practically all about finding your own pace and Rafal didn’t panic but just followed his own rhythm and thereby distanced Evans. Aru took a stunning win and no one was able to control him today. Being in third position is a good way to enter the final week of the Giro. We’ll enjoy the rest day tomorrow and then saddle up for the marathon mountain stage on Tuesday where things could get settled” 


What Wilco Kelderman said:
“At the foot I almost crashed after someone hit my handlebar with his saddle. I lost some focus. Ultimately, I got through it, but I never really got that good feeling back. When those men attacked, they proved to be too strong. I rode at my own pace, and it’s super that I crossed the line in a group with Evans. I knew that it would be hard to hold onto my fifth place. There is little to worry about. A top ten finish remains my goal. That’s the most important thing. I’m looking forward to the rest day. I don’t know how it is going to be on Tuesday, because I’ve never experienced such a hard stage.” 


ORICA-GE Sport Director Matt White:
“It’s certainly disappointing that we lost Mitch Docker [dued to illness] We’ve had a lot of good luck and a lot of bad luck at the Giro. We’ve seen the whole range of fortunes and emotions. As a team, we’ve experienced some very big highs and some very big lows these last week weeks. Mitch really wanted to finish. He was certainly looking forward to the third week. This virus has knocked out three of riders. We lost another three to crash related injuries. It’s disappointing to lose riders in this way.”

What Alexis Vuillermoz said:
"Extremely hard day, on the last climb - 20 km - I got dropped by the fron group 8 km to go (just before the flat of 2km), I ended solo that climb and  finished in the main group in spite of a bit of hypoglycemy 3 km to the top. In short, I finished empty but I'm up to14th place in the GC!"
 
RESULTS
STAGE

1 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 5:33:06
2 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia 0:00:21
3 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:22
4 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
5 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:42
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:52
7 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:01:08
8 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha
9 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp 0:01:13
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
11 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
12 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
13 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing
14 Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Sky
15 Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale 0:02:17
16 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team
17 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:03:13
18 CARDOSO Andre Fernando POR GRS
19 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:03:19
20 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale

GC
1 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 63:26:39
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:03
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:50
4 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:02:24
5 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:40
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:42
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:03:04
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:04:47
9 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:05:44
10 WoutPoels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:06:32

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